A Norwegian handball star helps inspire a blog about archaeology and cooking

Being rather parochial, I never realized that the phrase “Norwegian handball star” existed, let alone described an actual person. Nor did I think I would learn this from a blog called Cooking with Archaeologists

Source: www.lpcoverlover.com
Source: www.lpcoverlover.com

and no, they are not an ingredient in someone’s soup, although it is, in part, a cookbook:

Source: nerdhistory101.blogspot.com
Source: nerdhistory101.blogspot.com

It’s about recipes, and digs, and communal living. Check it out, and find out how nice a Norwegian handball star can be: Cooking with Archaeologists

Source: wired.com

 

Back to the Bones

It’s been a while since we’ve written anything about the actual archaeology of the Lamoka Lake site, but that’s about to change. I’m starting the identification of a large assemblage of animal bones from the site that hasn’t been studied before. The first step is to get out the bone binders with photocopied and hand-drawn reference material. These are in need of some new binders.

Zooarchaeology Binders

The bone identification guides are also getting pulled out of the bookshelves. Yes, I know there are some duplicates.

Zooarchaeology Identification Guides

 

Prehistory of the “Feathered Tempest”

Beloit College has posted the video of zooarchaeologist Steven Kuehn’s talk on the prehistoric occurrence of the passenger pigeon in the Midwest.

Kuehn briefly surveys passenger pigeon bones at archaeological sites in the Southeast and Northeast (with a mention of both the Lamoka Lake and Cole Gravel Pit sites), but focuses on the area he knows best, Illinois and Wisconsin.

While I disagree with his assertion that Ectopistes bones are, in general, rare in prehistoric archaeological sites, Kuehn makes some interesting points about possible changes through time in the abundance of passenger pigeon and also shows how, at least in later prehistory, passenger pigeons may have had greater symbolic importance.

Kuehn also talks about his own work at the Late Woodland Fish Lake site in Illinois (not far from Cahokia Mounds), where a single feature contained 28 passenger pigeon bones, almost all from the distal wing. Watch the video to see his interpretation of this find.

Archaeology Journals and Impact Factors

Those in tenure-track positions care a lot about impact factors; other people, not so much.

Elsevier, which coincidentally also publishes academic journals, makes freely available  “three alternative, transparent and accurate views of the true citation impact a journal makes.” These are the Impact per Publication (IPP), Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP), and ScImago Journal Rank (SJR). Each one is updated yearly.

For full information on how these are calculated and see the impact factor for any of thousands of journals, go to journalmetrics.com

Where do the journals devoted to archaeology rank? Generally speaking, well below more general science journals that frequently publish articles of archaeological interest.

The highest ranked journal of any kind, using any of the three rankings, are Nature (IPP 32.997) and Science (25.903), both of which publish occasional articles of archaeological interest.

There is quite a drop off in rank after that, with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) having an IPP of 9.756, followed by Quaternary Science Reviews, Evolutionary Anthropology, and PLoS ONE.

Other journals well-known among archaeologists are the Annual Review of Anthropology, Quaternary Research, and Current Anthropology.

The highest ranked journal dedicated solely to archaeology is the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology (2.27), followed closely by the Journal of Archaeological Science (2.237), and the Journal of Archaeological Research (2.192).

Trailing somewhat are the Journal of World Prehistory (1.724), Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (1.519), Geoarchaeology (1.51), and a relative newcomer, Archaeological Prospection (1.478). The venerable Antiquity (1.352) is next, followed by Archaeometry, the Cambridge Archaeological Journal, the Journal of African Archaeology, and  Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

Considering its prominence among North American archaeologists, it may be surprising that American Antiquity just barely rates an IPP above 1.0 (actually 1.038), and is outranked by American Anthropologist, Australian Archaeology, the Journal of Field Archaeology, Archaeology in Oceania, and World Archaeology. The SAA’s sister journal, Latin American Antiquity, garners a 0.642

The SJR rankings seem to be comparable to IPP, although American Antiquity, for one, moves up in the rankings. Using the SNIP shakes things up: After Nature and Science is the Annual Review of Anthropology, outranking PNAS.  Two journals significantly increasing their rank are Medieval Archaeology and the Journal of Roman Archaeology.

 

World War I Archaeology and More: Open Access Articles

For the 100th anniversary of the start of the Great War, Maney Publishing has made available for free download 100 scholarly articles dealing with World War I, including several on battlefield archaeology. The articles will be available to download, with no sign in necessary, through August 2014 at their website:

www.maneyonline.com/ww1
A sample of the articles available:
The Spanish Lady Comes to London: the Influenza Pandemic 1918-1919
Andrea Tanner, The London Journal
Academic Freedom Versus Loyalty at Columbia University During World War I: A Case Study
Charles F Howlett, War & Society
‘An Infinity of Personal Sacrifice’: The Scale and Nature of Charitable Work in Britain during the First World War
Peter Grant, War & Society
They don’t like it up ’em!: Bayonet fetishization in the British Army during the First World War
Paul Hodges, Journal of War & Culture Studies
Naming the unknown of Fromelles: DNA profiling, ethics and the identification of First World War bodies
J L Scully and R Woodward, Journal of War & Culture Studies
‘Those Who Survived the Battlefields’ Archaeological Investigations in a Prisoner of War Camp Near Quedlinburg (Harz / Germany) from the First World War
Volker Demuth, Journal of Conflict Archaeology
Not so Quiet on the Western Front: Progress and Prospect in the Archaeology of the First World War
Tony Pollard and Iain Banks, Journal of Conflict Archaeology
Archaeology of a Great War Dugout: Beecham Farm, Passchendaele, Belgium
P Doyle, P Barton and J Vandewalle, Journal of Conflict Archaeology
Excavating Under Gunfire: Archaeologists in the Aegean During the First World War
David W J Gill, Public Archaeology
Remembering War, Resisting Myth: Veteran Autobiographies and the Great War in the Twenty-first Century
Vincent Andrew Trott, Journal of War & Culture Studies

More Details of the Lamoka Diorama

Lamoka diorama interiorHere’s a photo showing part of the interior of the house in the Lamoka diorama at the New York State Museum. The lodge itself is based on Ritchie’s interpretation of the numerous post molds and features he described as floors at the site, as detailed in his book The Archaeology of New York State. The contents of the interior of the lodge are more speculative. Some items are based on actual artifacts found at the site, like the antlers seen hanging from one of the wooden supports. Others are undoubtedly inferred from more recent Native Americans, ethnographic hunter-gatherers, and other archaeological evidence. The textiles in particular are beautifully done.

Especially interesting is the bow seen hanging on the left side of the photo. Most archaeologists would probably doubt that bows and arrows were used during the Late Archaic in New York. Instead, atlatls (spear throwers) are considered the primary projectile weapon of the time (although bannerstones/atlatl weights are rare to nonexistent at Lamoka). The issue is unresolved however, and several archaeologists have argued for the presence of bows and arrows by this time period (see, for example, Evidence for Bow and Arrow Use in the Small Point Late Archaic of Southwestern Ontario
by Kristen Snarey and Christopher Ellis).

Recreating Lamoka at the New York State Museum

Lamoka Diorama at NYSMAlways love seeing the life-size diorama of the Lamoka Lake site, representing the Archaic Period, at the New York State Museum in Albany. Based, of course, on Ritchie’s excavations at the site, the man in the center is wearing one of the enigmatic antler pendants from the site as, yes, a pendant. He also has a bone-handled knife at his waist, is carrying a fishing net with netsinkers, and wears a shell bead necklace (Ritchie actually thought the shell beads found at the site were associated with the later Woodland occupation). In the background, you can see a fish weir across the narrow channel between the two lakes (there is no direct evidence for weirs at the site) and fish drying racks (some post molds from the site were interpreted this way).